Six people including three children tragically lost their lives in a shack fire during the early hours of Thursday morning, 24 November in Kamesh, Gqeberha.
It is alleged that there was load shedding when the family went to sleep and they left a candle burning.
CHILDREN PERISH IN SHACK FIRE
According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), it is alleged that at about 00:38 on Thursday, police attended to a complaint of a shack fire in Moeggesukkel in Kamesh.
On arrival, the shack was completely gutted to the ground. It is further alleged that it was load shedding and the family went to sleep, leaving a candle burning.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the mother woke up when the shack had already started burning. She and her husband managed to escape through a window, however the remaining six people could not get out in time.
The neighbours also assisted in dousing the flames with buckets of water while waiting for the fire brigade to arrive.
The couple’s three children, Asciwalise Ngqina,3, Asipile Ngqina, 6, and Ibanathi Ngqina, 11, died in the fire. Three other adults aged between 22-48 years old who were also in the house, died. Their names are yet to be established and their next of kin to be traced.
“The mother of the children sustained burn wounds to both her arms and hands. She was treated on the scene by paramedics while the father sustained burn wounds on his face and arms. He was taken to hospital for further treatment.
Police have opened an inquest docket for investigation and they have since urged residents to be extra cautious when using alternate lighting during load shedding.
“Candles, gas and primus stoves must be switched off before going to bed. The use of this type of lighting must be constantly checked to avoid situations such as this tragic incident,” Naidu said.